I have worked in Cayman for 39 years. I have hired employees from dishwashers at the Grand Old House to executives in my real estate development company.
The question that went through my mind as I contemplated writing this letter was why write at all, what will it accomplish?
What finally tipped the scale in favour of writing was our recent rollover controversy. This policy has already substantially hurt my business in Cayman. I have lost two of my three office staff – that has hurt!
I most recently advertised for an accounting assistant with ads placed twice a week for three weeks and by contacting the labour board with a request for candidates registered with them.
I was frankly amazed that the newspaper ads drew three Caymanian candidates all with seemingly good potential. I asked our manager to contact them immediately to arrange interviews.
One candidate was a young man from Bodden Town. The telephone number indicated on his resume was not in service.
We did some research and were able to contact his father, who agreed to pass along a message for the young man to contact my office to arrange the interview. In spite of a follow-up call, I have still never heard from him.
I was very interested in the second candidate, a lady living in West Bay. Our office is in West Bay.
She arranged a time to be interviewed but called back the next day to ask if her being pregnant and due to give birth to her child the next month would be a problem. Of course I wanted someone yesterday. It would be a problem.
The third candidate from George Town seemed very interested and I arranged to accommodate her schedule with an interview on Saturday. She did not show up. She did not call.
I am very sorry to say that this unfortunate hiring experience is the norm rather than an exception in Cayman. I’ve experienced this dozens of times.
Government, please hear your business community. We are really hurting here and we need your help.
This immigration policy carried to a conclusion will have a very negative effect on Cayman business and all of Cayman.
I really believe our political leaders can do better. I would appreciate them trying.
John L. Alliger